Sunday, 31 August 2008

BRWYDR BRYN OWAIN ( The Battle of Stalling DOWN) Bontfaen Gorffennaf 1403.

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On Saturday 30 Awst 2008, an Embassy Glyndŵr Staff Field Trip took place to register the site of the 'Battle of Bryn Owain', Bontfaen. This battle was fought in mid/late July or early August 1403. History recalls that following the successful 'Haf Glyndŵr' campaign in Ystrad Tywi during the first week of July 1403, the Castle of Carmarthen surrendered. Success. however, was to be overshadowed by the disastrous defeat of Glyndŵr's ally, Hotspur, at the Battle of Shrewsbury. This defeat caused Prince Owain to divide the great army of national liberation that had been gathered in Ystrad Tywi. Glyndŵr headed North to ensure that Fflintshire could withstand an attack by the victorious English. Meanwhile, Rhys Gethin and other generals, such as Rhys Ddu ap Maredudd and Henri Dwn, marched east heading for Abertawe and Nedd at where the Castles were quickly surrendered to the victorious Welsh. Records are vague as to what happened next but I believe the Welsh would have marched into a safe ''liberated area'' such as Ogwr to await the forces of Cadwgan of 'Y Rhondda'. Then reinforced, the Welsh army would have moved South East in the direction of Stalling Down and their spies would have told them that a large English force was heading out of Caerdydd in an attempt to forestall the Welsh from reaching the town and sacking it - as they had previously done. We can but presume that the Welsh reached the high ground of ;Stalling Down; (later to be called Bryn Owain) first. The rest is history which you can follow up on in any good Hanes Glyndŵr book. The photos below are as follows:
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Pic 1: Our 'Tarian Glyndŵr' (Defence of Heritage in the Landscape Initiative) Battle Site Registration Card, place
d at Stalling Down during our visit. We feel such needs to be done for a number of reasons. In the main, such action is the main focus of our campaign to win recognition for 'Brwydrau Glyndŵr' sites.




















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Pic 2: Part of an O.S. Land Ranger Map, giving info on the location. Note that the O.S. explorer version shows 'Bryn Owain' (as well as 'Stalling Down') as names of the location and most importantly, 19th century maps did note that a battle was fought there in 1403 so, why has such detail disappeare
d from modern maps?
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Note, the same is true of the 'Battle of Coed Llathen' (which took place in the 13th century) location. How many more Cymric battle sites have disappeared from maps in this way? perhaps you can check out your region for the Embassy. The O.S. publishes reprints of these 19th century maps but they are only sold to the public at their present day locations. I certainly cannot afford to buy all these maps so, your help will be greatly appreciated - especially in regards to the Embassy's campaign to win recognition of Brwydrau Glyndŵr.

You wil
l see below my letters to the O.S. on this matter and you can but merely guess as to my utter exasperation at their replies! I have also written to the RCAHMW, no reply as of yet! I am now in the process of asking the same questions to the Minister of Welsh Heritage, The National Trust, The National Park and to 'Visit Wales'. If you agree with the Embassy's campaign, please actively support by also writing to the aforementioned bodies. I have also informed 'I'r GAD Welsh Battlefield Campaign' (See their blog http://brwydr.blogspot.com) of my actions and my support for their campaign on behalf of all Welsh Battlefields.

Pic 3: We ride onto 'Bryn Owain/Stalling Down' in 'Bacsi Llwyd', the almost 12 year old Micra Embassy Glyndŵr Staff Car without whom much would not have been achieved over the last 10 yrs as the faithful little steed has been mobilized as a 4x4 to reach battlegrounds and hilltops.

Pic 4: The view North towards the Southern valleys, the general area from which the Welsh Army may have come (as noted above)

Pic 5: Advance to the East, as the Welsh army would have done to meet the English Army.

Pic 6: Advance continues: Note Wenvoe TV mast to the east.

Pic 7: Advance continues & Pic 8: Advance Continues. Note the smaller area of trees close by, that's the fort marked on the map, the ruins now overgrown by trees. There is a stream at the bottom at which the men and horses of the Welsh army would have quenched their thirst do doubt. Today, you can also follow it's course on the left hand side of a lane leading from the present day Tafarn, The Hare & Hound (in which you may quench your thirst today on a variety of real ales before or after visiting the battleground)

Note, you will be able to reach this fort via footpaths from the lower slopes, reached, either, by the lane or by footpaths across Stalling Down (see maps)

Pic 9: Taking up position. Note in background, the earthy brown field. I was told this is a ''Race Track'' for a local Riding School. Could be handy for potential Marchogion Teyrnas Glyndŵr to learn how to ride? Will look into this. Perhaps one can tie in some riding lessons if you intend visiting the Battlefield?

Pic 10: Registering the Battlefield. View to back is southward at to the top of 'Stalling Down' in the direction of the common on the other side of the M4.

NB: You can get on to 'Stalling Down' either from Y Bontfaen or M4, look out for the ''Biker Cafe'' or you can approach it from Llantrisant, Ystrad Owen and Abererthin direction.

In these times of Credit Crunch and rising cost of petrol, it's very difficult to organise large field trips but next year, I might select an appropriate day and give advance notice so that Southern Pobl Glyndŵr could meet for a field trip and a social gathering/day out; perhaps meeting up in the morning at Castell San Quentin, moving on to view the Church of Llanblethian where, it is said, many of the 1403 dead were buried, going on to Cowbridge (plenty of history to see there) then on to the Biker Cafe for a meal or, alternatively, a picnic on the Down and then, a ramble across to the fort. The day could be rounded off with a 'Social' at the Hare & Hounds, it's got a big 'Beer Garden'. Interested, then get in touch by e-mail at: s.ifan@ntlworld.com , if enough of you do, I will definitely organise it.
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Sent: 24 July 2008 14:02

To: Customer Services
Subject: *FOI* Welsh Battle Sites.

Dear Sir/Madam.

Could you please inform me as to how many Welsh Battlefields are:

1: Marked on your maps at present.

2: How many were marked on your older maps but no longer, and why not?

3: Are you likely to mark further Welsh Battle sites on your maps in the near future, if so. which ones?

I would appreciate any information you can provide me with, including relevant maps on which above are or, were marked and if such are still available to purchase.

Sincerely.

S.Ifan.

Dear Sian

As the Royal Commission for Ancient and Historic Monuments Wales should hold the definitive list of Welsh battle sites and we do not hold such a list but do indicate battle sites, are you able to please provide a list of battles and their possible locations so that we can answer your enquiry?

I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Best wishes

Tony Gray

Records Manager (Freedom of Information/Data Protection)

Ordnance Survey

Rm C363, Romsey Road, SOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom, SO16 4GU

Phone: +44 (0) 23 8079 2540| Mobile: +44 (0) 7789 617648| Fax: +44 (0) 23 8079 2572

http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/ |

Please consider your environmental responsibility before printing this email.


Dear Sian

Request for Information

Ordnance Survey reference: 68847

Thank you for your email clarification dated 10 August 2008 requesting: Could you please inform me as to how many Welsh Battlefields are:

1: Marked on your maps at present.

2: How many were marked on your older maps but no longer, and why not?

3: Are you likely to mark further Welsh Battle sites on your maps in the near future, if so which.

I would appreciate any information you can provide me, including relevant maps on which above are, or were marked and if such are still available to purchase.

I regret to inform you that Ordnance Survey is unable to help you with your enquiry as we do not hold this information for the following reasons:

For Wales, Ordnance Survey publishes battlefield site information which has been supplied by the Royal Commission for the Ancient and Historical Monuments Wales (RCHAMW) situated at Aberystwyth. When updating small scale mapping we request from RCAHMW a current list of antiquities, including battlefield sites, which they may wish Ordnance Survey to add or continue publishing on Explorer and Landranger mapping. This process has been in place for at least 20 years and over time we have been adding and deleting antiquity items, but always at their instigation/authorisation. Ordnance Survey does not hold this information in list form, which is why we are unable to give you any reason as to why (or even when) we removed the Battles of Coed Lathan (1257) and Stalling Down (1403) from our ‘old’ mapping.

To include any of Owain Glyndwr’s battlefield sites on our mapping, authorisation has to be provided by RCAHW, as they are our sole supplier of such information in Wales. You will need to consult with them about these specific battle sites. If we receive acknowledgement and instruction from RCAHMW that they agree with your request, we will add these sites at the next revisions of the relevant maps. Our paper maps are subject to revision schedules which will, I am afraid, determine whether these sites would be added to any of our map series in 2009, although they could appear in our basic large scale digital data within a shorter timeframe. This will all depend on the response from RCAHMW.

Regarding your request as to how many are battle sites are marked on our older maps, unfortunately this part of your request falls outside the parameters of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) as there is no requirement under the FOIA to carry out analytical work where the information does not already exist.

Please note that your enquiry has been processed to Freedom of Information guidelines. If you are unhappy with our response, you may raise an appeal to our Appeals Officer at:

Customer Service Centre
Ordnance Survey
Romsey Road
SOUTHAMPTON

SO16 4GU

Please include the reference number above. The Appeals Officer will ensure that the process has been followed correctly, questioning any decisions taken regarding the original response and recommending disclosure of additional information if appropriate.

Thank you for your enquiry.

Yours sincerely

Tony Gray

Records Manager (Freedom of Information/Data Protection)

Ordnance Survey

Rm C363, Romsey Road, SOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom, SO16 4GU

Phone: +44 (0) 23 8079 2540| Mobile: +44 (0) 7789 617648| Fax: +44 (0) 23 8079 2572

http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/ |

Please consider your environmental responsibility before printing this email.


From: sian Ifan [mailto:s.ifan@ntlworld.com]
Sent: 10 August 2008 16:39
To: Tony Gray
Subject: Sian Replying: Re: TRIM: FW: *FOI* Welsh Battle Sites. SAP 68847

Annwyl Tony.

First of all, I would like to seek some clarification. I have noted on your older O.S. maps that the Battles of Coed Lathan (1257) which took place near Carmarthen and Stalling Down (1403) which took place near Cowbridge were initially marked but not on later O.S. Maps. I have been wondering why this has happened? I would also like to know if the same situation may apply to other Welsh Battles on O.S. maps?.

1: Battle of Vyrnwy 24 Sept 1400.

2: Battle of Hyddgen. Early May 1401?

3: Battle of Bryn Glas 1402.

4: Battles of Ystrad Tywi July 1403. 'Haf Glyndwr' (Glyndwr's Summer)

5: Battle of Graig y Dorth 1404.

6: Battles of Grosmont and Pwll Melyn 1405 ''The Bloody Spring''.

Yn Ffyddlon

Sian.

----- Original Message -----

From: Tony Gray

Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 8:40 AM

Subject: RE: TRIM: FW: *FOI* Welsh Battle Sites. SAP 68847

Dear Sian

As the Royal Commission for Ancient and Historic Monuments Wales should hold the definitive list of Welsh battle sites and we do not hold such a list but do indicate battle sites, are you able to please provide a list of battles and their possible locations so that we can answer your enquiry?

I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Best wishes

Tony Gray

Records Manager (Freedom of Information/Data Protection)

Ordnance Survey

Rm C363, Romsey Road, SOUTHAMPTON, United Kingdom, SO16 4GU

Phone: +44 (0) 23 8079 2540| Mobile: +44 (0) 7789 617648| Fax: +44 (0) 23 8079 2572

http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/ |

Please consider your environmental responsibility before printing this email.


From: sian Ifan [mailto:s.ifan@ntlworld.com]
Sent: 24 July 2008 14:02
To: Customer Services
Subject: *FOI* Welsh Battle Sites.

Dear Sir/Madam.

Could you please inform me as to how many Welsh Battlefields are:

1: Marked on your maps at present.

2: How many were marked on your older maps but no longer, and why not?

3: Are you likely to mark further Welsh Battle sites on your maps in the near future, and if so, which?

I would appreciate any information you can provide me with, including relevant maps on which above are, or were marked and if such are still available to purchase.

Thank You.

S.Ifan.

.
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Unless stated otherwise, the contents of this email are personal to the writer and do not represent the official view of Ordnance Survey. Nor can any contract be formed on Ordnance Survey's behalf via email. We reserve the right to monitor emails and attachments without prior notice.
 
Thank you for your cooperation.
 
Ordnance Survey
Romsey Road
Southampton SO16 4GU
Tel: 08456 050505
http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk
 
.


This email is only intended for the person to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential information. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender and delete this email which must not be copied, distributed or disclosed to any other person.

Unless stated otherwise, the contents of this email are personal to the writer and do not represent the official view of Ordnance Survey. Nor can any contract be formed on Ordnance Survey's behalf via email. We reserve the right to monitor emails and attachments without prior notice.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Ordnance Survey
Romsey Road
Southampton SO16 4GU
Tel: 08456 050505
http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk